Spiced Chicken with Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash turned up in a recent CSA pickup recently and after taking up space on the counter. It was time to turn it into something interesting (not the easiest task IMHO). Serves 4:

Spiced Chicken with Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (2–2 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise, seeded
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
  • 4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint, plus more for serving

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sprinkle each half of squash with 1/4 tsp. salt, then place cut side down on baking sheet with the onion quarters.

Combine turmeric, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 teaspoon allspice, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Arrange chicken skin side up alongside spaghetti squash and onions on baking sheet. Brush tops of chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Bake until interior of squash and onions are fork-tender, chicken skin is crispy, and an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165°F, 35–45 minutes; if chicken is done before squash, remove from oven and let rest until squash is finished cooking.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, and remaining 3 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne in a large bowl.

Finely chop the roasted onion quarters and transfer to bowl with dressing. Using a fork, scrape squash to pull strands from shells into the bowl–discard shells. Add pistachios, pomegranate seeds, dill, and mint and toss to coat.

Plate the chicken with the spaghetti squash. Top with dill and mint, serve and enjoy!

My verdict:

This recipe appealed because it wasn’t treating the spaghetti squash like spaghetti and we both really enjoyed it! Now, I’ll look forward to the next spaghetti squash that turns up. I did take some big liberties with the recipe. I used just chicken thighs and they and the squash halves were perfectly cooked in 35 minutes. Swapped pine nuts for the pistachios and left out the pomegranate seeds since we didn’t have a pomegranate kicking around. There was a little too much dressing for the squash, but that was our only complaint.

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